Coping with Life when you don’t get what you want

Life often will not work the way you want it to. In such times, more than any other, it is important to learn to stay detached from the outcomes of your efforts.
A dear friend is going through a grim career crisis. He’s an expert, the tallest professional, in his field. He’s well known and widely respected in the industry. Yet he’s unable to get himself a job. He briefly tried his hand at consulting but things didn’t work out. The few times he did get jobs, in the last five years, he has been unable to retain them. Either he fell out with his bosses or the company he worked for decided to close down his division or there was a downsizing that led to his axing. In the last few months, my friend has been out of job again and is battling depression and negativity – which is stemming from his efforts on the job front drawing a naught every single time.
Anger, frustration, self-doubt, self-pity and depression – all these are by-products of an expectation that if you are hard-working, sincere and ethical, nothing should go wrong with your plans or that every effort of yours should yield the result or outcome that you truly deserve and expect. There’s nothing wrong with this logical expectation. In reality though, Life doesn’t conform to any logic. Fortune or tragedy, success or failure, opportunity or rejection – none of these choose those that they strike! They simply happen. Because Life happens through the medium of time. And each of us, whether we like it or not, whether we accept it or not, whether we believe it or not, is a product of the time we are going through. So, you can be the most talented, most respected person in your chosen field and you can be out of work. You can appear to be the fittest person around but you could be having a grave health challenge. You can be the most understanding, caring and compassionate spouse, and yet your partner could be in another relationship. Simply, there’s no point getting angry with the Life you have. Because your anger or depression can’t change your reality.
This doesn’t mean that you should resign to your fate. Acceptance is different from resignation. In resignation, there’s a certain frustration and depression that is simmering within. In acceptance, there’s peace and equanimity. In acceptance, there’s an opportunity for further action. In resignation, your frustration will hold you hostage. It will keep pushing you down a negative spiral. When you accept your current reality, you will realize that the best thing to do when things are not working out as planned, is to simply make your daily efforts and choose not to get depressed when the results don’t come as expected. This is not a profound perspective. This is a real world, practical point of view. It comes from experience and from knowing that when you don’t get what you want, it doesn’t mean something’s wrong with you. It simply means it not time yet for you to get what you want!

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